Report on Asosan (Japan) — December 1988
Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 13, no. 12 (December 1988)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.
Asosan (Japan) Minor ash emission
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 1988. Report on Asosan (Japan) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 13:12. Smithsonian Institution.
32.884°N, 131.104°E; summit elev. 1592 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Ash ejection from [Crater 1] was observed on 28 December at 1420, during a field survey. The ash cloud rose 30 m above the crater rim. Red glow at vents and cracks in the crater floor had often been seen since 16 October. The number of isolated tremor episodes, counted from data recorded on a seismometer 0.8 km W of the crater, had gradually increased since the end of October, although the amplitude of continuous tremor episodes remained almost the same. No ash ejection was observed during a 31 December field survey.
Geological Summary. The 24-km-wide Asosan caldera was formed during four major explosive eruptions from 300,000 to 90,000 years ago. These produced voluminous pyroclastic flows that covered much of Kyushu. The last of these, the Aso-4 eruption, produced more than 600 km3 of airfall tephra and pyroclastic-flow deposits. A group of 17 central cones was constructed in the middle of the caldera, one of which, Nakadake, is one of Japan's most active volcanoes. It was the location of Japan's first documented historical eruption in 553 CE. The Nakadake complex has remained active throughout the Holocene. Several other cones have been active during the Holocene, including the Kometsuka scoria cone as recently as about 210 CE. Historical eruptions have largely consisted of basaltic to basaltic-andesite ash emission with periodic strombolian and phreatomagmatic activity. The summit crater of Nakadake is accessible by toll road and cable car, and is one of Kyushu's most popular tourist destinations.
Information Contacts: JMA.